Did you know Americans create 25% more trash during the holidays?

But we don’t have to! This guide will help you have a meaningful, waste-free holiday season.


Holiday Gift Wrap Guidelines

During the upcoming holiday season many different types of wrapping paper becomes part of the material we collect from our customers. Craig and Shawna Callison. Please keep in mind many types of wrapping paper are not recyclable because of specialized designs and manufacturing techniques.

The following types of gift wrap are NOT recyclable:


  • Tissue Paper
  • Gift bags with lamination or dyes
  • Foil-backed and glossy gift wrap
  • Ribbons & bows (they’re not paper)
  • Packing peanuts
  • Bubble wrap

Please remember: No tissue paper in compost collection.

Tips for Trimming Down Your Holiday Waste



  • Consider purchasing a potted tree to decorate and plant in your yard later, or buy an artificial and reusable tree.
  • If you buy a cut tree, reuse it as habitat for birds in the back yard during the winter months. Hang feeders or suet balls on it, and then set it out on compostables collection day in the spring.
  • Get outdoor light strands that are wired in parallel. These have separate circuitry so that if one bulb goes out the rest will keep shining.
  • Make decorations out of natural materials.
  • Make homemade tree ornaments out of things you already have around the house.



  • Look for gifts that are: durable, not over-packaged, energy efficient, made with recycled materials, recyclable and not made of tropical woods.
  • Keep it simple. One thoughtful gift is better than six wrapped packages of unwanted gifts.
  • Donate unwanted gifts to charity.
  • Give gifts that reduce environmental impacts, such as household goods like reusable linen napkins or reusable canvas shopping bags, educational items, plants that reduce indoor air pollution.
  • Use reusable or recyclable wrapping paper.
  • Don’t wrap oversized presents.
  • Give gift certificates or gifts that don’t need to be wrapped.
  • For gifts that require batteries, purchase rechargeable ones.



  • If you are planning a holiday party or open house, try not to use disposable utensils, plates, napkins, or tablecloths – we can take your compostable items.
  • If you have a lot of extra food, donate it to the shelter, and compost the smaller scraps.
  • Walk to neighborhood parties or carpool with friends if too far to walk.

Free Christmas Tree Collection at the Curb

After the holidays are over, don’t throw your tree away—leave it at the curb next to your compost cart. Western will pick up your tree on your compost collection day. If your tree is taller than 6 feet, please cut into lengths no longer than 6 feet so that the driver can fit it in the truck.

If you do not live in an area where compost collection is offered, you may put your tree out on your collection day and it will be taken as trash at no additional charge if put out by January 31st.

Remember— remove all nails, ornaments, plastic, tinsel, stands and lights before setting your tree out for collection! Also, flocked trees and wire-based wreaths are not compostable.